Balance improvement ideas

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Dalai
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Postby Dalai » Jan 12 2015, 17:02

The logic behind the decision to increase hero's combat abilities with levelups was almost the opposite of what you say. Survivability of heroes is extremely important. Originally Combat skills were the only way to guarantee survival. So almost all advanced classes in multiplayer were Combat+SomeMagicSchool, or Combat+OtherNonMagicalSkill. Players DID choose Combat skills. Always. That led to the situation when a big part of the game was never used or seen.

We try to balance a game for multiplayer mostly. There your heroes typically have 13 to 18 levelups before the game ends. With altars and magic schools it means 1 complete skill line and just some skills to become advanced class.

In singleplayer in most cases your heroes will become steamrollers no matter what. You can not balance a game for singleplayer because mapmaker has much more levers to tune the difficulty.

BTW, in multiplayer after just 1 month Combat hero often loses to high level creatures with good Tactician hero, magic being comparable on both sides.

Multiplying stacks with difficulty was 3DO design decision, and we decided not to change it, because so many maps depend on it. But a mapmaker can change this behavior with scripts.

If you have ideas about something that we can give to computer player short of intelligence - I am looking forward to read it. We know about scripts that some mapmakers use to make AI bolder, but that's it.
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Taro
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Postby Taro » Jan 19 2015, 9:14

Thanks for answer, and sorry for late reply. Still, I little disagree with you because:

1) Combat and Magic resistance are essential to survival. They mean less demage.

2) Melee and Archery are not so important. Maybe in single player, where you can destroy neutral stacks easier with them. But in multi player? Smart opponent will not allow them to make big demage during battle.

So I think that making a static demage for heroes is good.

What about computer players? Well, I have several ideas but I don't know your skills. Still, my concepts are:

1) AI should see entire map. I'm sure it will play better after that. I know, we can do it with scripts, but there are not so many players who will do it for every map they play.

2) I think you should redefine resources for human and computer players depending on difficulty level. And make it harder. For example, on champion human player should have 0 of all. I know, there are scripts, but it would be nice to have it without them.

3). In H3 on impossible computer players got more weak creatures in towns (28% from what I remember). I think there should be similar thing. Let's say 20% more of all creatures. This will allow AI to conquer area a bit faster than before.

4) There should be multiplier of experience for AI heroes. For example, after each battlle heroes will get 2x more experience on expert, 4x more on champion. AI with strong heroes - that's my ultimate dream :D

5) If not multiplier we can give some more attributes for AI heroes after each level up (atack, defense, mana, speed). Again, depending on difficulty level.

6) And one more thing - PLEASE, LOCK TRADE MARKET. Or at least change prices to level of h2 or h3. The problem here is AI never use it, and human player can get resources without taking hardly defended mines (while AI must take mines and get some loses in army).

Just imagine we play on champion. We have no resources, no option to buy them. An worse - AI knows were we are. It will explore area faster than before - thanks to stronger heroes and a little larger army. That hurts!

I think that "lock trade" and "entire map" can be optional. But other things depending on difficulty level should be obligatory. So, what do you say Dalai?

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Postby Karmakeld » Feb 2 2015, 13:52

All of ur suggestion Can be carried out by scripts. Of course only on custom made maps. Only tricky One is #4 but u Can give AI additionsl xp after each Battle on expert/champion to increase difficulty. I get the issue with marketplace but again you could give AI eg crystal through script of they have 0. I agree it Can do slot balance wise, but I think its map makers job to ensure maps Are wellbalanced using the needed scripts
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Panda Tar
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Postby Panda Tar » Feb 20 2015, 16:32

Dalai-san, there's an issue I came across after playing H4 again for a while that I wanted to address.

Skeleton stats or Skeletal Ability.

I do think that they have too much HP. You see, they already have almost as much HP as those of Lv with highest amount of HP. They also have a great advantage of having resistance against ranged attacks and they also can be brought back through Necromancy, increasing numbers easily.

I'm aware that they are undead, slow.

So was wondering if the matter could be addressed with their 'ability' of being Skeletal. Being skeletal have a defensive bonus against ranged attacks, but I see that it also has a disadvantage of being weak against melee attacks, easy to break.

That would balance the matter for skeletons rather fine, imho, without have to tweak stats. Moreover, also affecting bone dragons. However, bone dragons already have the advantage over skeletons that they have that fear attack, which protects them from most of enemy's retaliation, so as not to make bone dragons too weak in melee-fights.

So, in a general view, tweaking Skeletal ability to give defense bonus against ranged attacks, but defense penalty against melee attacks sounds about perfect.

What do you say?
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Dalai
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Postby Dalai » Mar 24 2015, 17:40

Right now the division of labor between Devils and Bone Dragons is: Bone Dragons help in creeping, and Devils kill enemy heroes. This leads to Devils being chosen over BDs in most multiplayer games.

Same goes about necromancy. In most games players do not spend level-ups to develop a high level necromancy, and prefer having better combat or alternative magic school.

Both those reasons work against making skeletal creatures weaker, because it makes the most often made choice even better in comparison.
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Panda Tar
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Postby Panda Tar » Mar 24 2015, 18:05

Fair enough. Completely forgot about multiplayer games. Never played any.
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